Disciplined bowling effort along with some exceptional fielding in the middle overs helped India restrict Bangladesh to 222 all-out in 48.3 overs in the Asia Cup 2018 final in Dubai.
After being put into bat, opener Liton Das' brilliant century (121 off 117 balls) was the only bright spot for Bangladesh as they suffered a collapse after a blazing start. Das and Mehidy Hasan shared a 120-run opening stand but soon after the latter’s dismissal, Bangladesh’s middle-order crumbled.
Imrul Kayes (2), Mushfiqur Rahim (5), Mohammad Mithun (2) and Mahmudullah (4) got out in quick succession as Bangladesh slumped from 128/1 to 151/5. Two run-outs in the latter stage of the innings jolted Bangladesh's hopes of a high score even further. Kuldeep Yadav was the stand-out bowler for India, claiming three wickets. Kedar Jadhav picked up two wickets while Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah chipped in with wicket apiece.
In reply, India needed a solid platform but they didn’t get one in the all-important final as Dhawan (15) and Rayudu (2) departed cheaply. Nonetheless, Indian captain Rohit Sharma took the charge and steadied the innings with a 37-run stand with Karthik. Just when Rohit was looking to take the game away from Bangladesh, Rubel Hossain removed him for 48. After Rohit’s dismissal, Karthik and Dhoni put India in a comfortable position by adding 54 runs but the defending champions lost both of them in the span of 5 overs.
All of a sudden India were reeling at 160/5 and to make the matter worse Jadhav was struggling with hamstring injury. Such was the extent of Jadhav’s injury that he had to retire hurt as Bhuvneshwar Kumar came to join Ravindra Jadeja at the crease. Amidst extreme pressure, the pair of Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar added 44 runs before the former got out in the 48th over. Bhuvneshwar followed soon as Mustafizur removed in the penultimate over.
Needing 6 runs in the final over, Kuldeep Yadav and Jadhav took the game to the last ball by taking singles and doubles. The limping Jadhav ran for a leg-bye in the final delivery off Mahmudullah to seal the Asia Cup 2018 title for India with three wickets in hand.
Twitter experts were enthralled to see a gripping contest in the final of Asia Cup 2018. Below are some of the tweets congratulating India’s triumph and Bangladesh’s fighting spirit.
Congratulations India on winning the Asia Cup. The bowlers were phenomenal throughout the tournament and the main reason that we managed to win. Really special effort from Bangladesh to take the game so deep. Well done #IndvBan— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) September 28, 2018
That was close. A nail Biting last ball thriller to decide the winner of the tournament. Many Congratulations @BCCI on being crowned as 'Champions of Asia' for the 7th time. Also Let's take a moment to appreciate @BCBtigers for their spirited show in the finals ???? #INDvBAN— Hemang Badani (@hemangkbadani) September 28, 2018
Congratulations to team India for winning the Asia cup final but must congratulate team Bangladesh also for putting up a great fight ..— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) September 28, 2018
Tonight cricket won ..
Congratulations India on becoming #AsiaCup Champions. Hats off to Bangladesh for their splendid fight and attitude, for not giving up and playing out of their skins,this despite missing Shakib and Tamim. Special mention to Kedar Jadhav for his grit and commitment #IndvBan— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) September 28, 2018
The best team at the #AsiaCup2018 eventually wins it— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) September 28, 2018
So near yet so far from Bangladesh. Congratulations to Team India on winning the #AsiaCup2018 . Hats off to Bangladesh for such a spirited fight despite missing key players. India have a lot of areas to work upon despite winning this & I am hopeful, they will get better. #IndvBan— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) September 28, 2018
All told, the Asia Cup has been highly competitive, demanding the best from all teams. Credit to India for winning the title— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) September 28, 2018